We never realize how dependent we are on something until it's taken away.
Last Friday night our city experienced a bit of a storm. It knocked out electricity for not a small amount of dwellings and businesses. It changed the topography as well. There is a pile of wood sitting on the edge of our neighbors front lawn that used to be their neighbor's tree. Still, four days later, driving or walking nearby, when you can get through, I'm finding this an all too common sight.
Once we knew the neighbors were safe and their home was bundled up to keep it dry from further invasions of rain we settled in at home with candles glowing, cold sandwiches and fruit aplate, and the Cribbage board ready.
Then it hit me. I have another kind of emergency brewing because of this storm. I have to bake a cake, chill mousse, melt chocolate, and beat eggs and whip cream, all with no power. Then, after it has magically transformed in to a sumptuous and stunning dessert, I have to keep it cold.
Now, I'll be the first to admit that I love a challenge. Odds against me. Underdog. Conquering the unconquerable. Mounting the insurmountable. I'm at my best when it's me against the world, so to speak. I'm not easily daunted. I get an adrenaline rush from doing the impossible, and more so at the last minute. But when someone else is counting on me, when it's not just me counting on me, that's when the pressure mounts. That's a cake with a different frosting.
So, here I am, 10 p.m. and a cake to perform by 2 p.m. tomorrow and no power, quite literally, to do it.
I have to say that I felt ridiculous using my cell phone. No one died here, nor was I asking after anyone who might have. But our home phone did, die, that is. So, after not a few texts and several phone calls, clogging up an otherwise understandably busy cell circuit, I find a power-filled and available kitchen/oven. I begin to see the light. Then I begin to think. All night I think. I get so tired I fall asleep thinking. I wake up thinking.
How am I going finish this cake? On time.
Because I realize baking, whipping and chilling are not the only mountains I have to climb. This range is full of other steep ascents. This is going to push me to new heights.
I should have been working out more.
My mind stretches and leaps as it all becomes one great list. Stuff out. Stuff packed. Stuff in car. Drive across town. Stuff out of car. Stuff in new kitchen. Stuff unpacked. Stuff mixed. Stuff baked. Stuff cooled. More stuff baked. More stuff cooled. Stuff repacked. Stuff iced. Stuff loaded in car. Check, check, and check.
Hours later, one trip across town and two stops on the way home for emergency necessities, and I can stand in my work space, with power returned, and finish the cake. More mental exercise. Cake cut, cake layered, cake berried, cake moussed, repeat, and repeat. Cake topped, cake iced, cake on stand, cake shot (for posterity's sake), cake in box, cake on ice, cake in cooler, cake picked up. Check, check, and check again. Whew!
Now what do I do for fun?
Oh, right. I've got an order for tomorrow. I better get at it before the power goes out.